Pierre de Manchicourt: Reges Terrae – Missa Reges Terrae – Caro Mea – Ne Reminiscaris – Vidi Speciosum – Regina Caeli
The Choir of St. Luke in the Fields: Melissa Fogarty, Anna Lenti, Amanda Sidebottom (Soprano), Kit Emory, Catherine Hedberg (Alto), Todd Frizzell, David Root, Michael Steinberger, Steven Caldicott Wilson (Tenor), Phillip Cheah, Peter Walker (Bass), David Shuler (Director)
Recording: Church of St. Mary the Virgin, New York City (February 29 and March 1-2, 2016) – 65’44
MSR Classics #MS 1632 – Booklet in English
It’s gratifying to see MSR Classics returning to elusive composers, those which lie in the Renaissance Period. After the soothing release of Viva Italia, we have here The Choir of St. Luke in the Fields as the purveyor of music, moving back another century and the relatively unknown music of Pierre de Manchicourt.
Because of a short life (of only 54 years), may explain why Manchicourt’s music was quickly archived since he didn’t have enough time to respond to the quickly growing counter-reformation trends. Under the employment of King Philip II, Manchicourt, nonetheless, was instrumental in creating music for two developing ministriles, the Castilian Capilla and the smaller Capilla Flamenca.
The latter notion becomes of particular importance as it pertains to the Missa Reges Terrae due to the music preserved in both Flanders and Spain. This MSR Classics motet, a World Premiere Recording, is well worth the visit time and time again. The Choir of St. Luke in the Fields has remarkable clarity, sophistication, yet simultaneously, a peace of ethereal simplicity. Under the direction of championed David Shuler, the Choir’s distinguished blending allows the Manchicourt’s thematic subtleties to flourish and rapture the listener.
Another motet to single out is that of Caro Mea that appears a bit less weighty than the aforementioned. Manchicourt’s harmonies flood the mind with limpid delight. Mr. Shuler’s guidance helps maintain a balance of appropriate speed and dynamics, adding to the immensity of palpability.
Acoustics on this CD are first class. Those seeking music from the 16th century will do well by looking into this treasure. MSR Classics is a champion again as they continue on a path of classical finery.